Handmade Superheroes - The Untold Story

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Isle of Man Children in Care Council is a group comprised of children and young people from the age of 7-25, who all have experience of the care system.

The groups aim is to improve and monitor the care system by being part of high level policy and procedure discussions. The group do project based work to tackle issues which are relevant and important to young people in care. Our council on the Isle of Man is known as Voices in Participation and has been established for 10 years. In this time they have worked hard to build relationships with Government departments changing various policies to benefit looked after children and care leavers.

They devised a day long multi-agency training program named Through the Keyhole, which they deliver through the Safeguarding Board which they deliver a number of times a year – this explores a young person attached to being in care and gives professionals an opportunity to reflect, consider and learn from the voice of the child.  The council have also launched a Drive Project, which reduces the gap between looked after children and their peers when learning to drive. We have submitted 2 large reports to Tynwald in response to evidence requested around vulnerable young people and safety of young people in care both of these reports have affected change in policies at legislative level.

Public perceptions of children in care nationally are influenced by poor media representation, unrealistic fictional programs and historic high profile care cases. The reality of growing up in care is vastly different to this. However this reality is not something which the general public have access to. Handmade superheroes aim is to change public perceptions about young people in care through art and creative media. We hope that the project will create beautiful spaces around the island which people can not only enjoy but learn a little about what life is like in care on the Isle of Man. Hopefully this will begin a journey of breaking the "care stigma".

This project is called – Handmade Superheroes – the untold story…

Installations will be going up from 1st February across the Island, these can be found:

Sea Terminal – Comic Book Style Canvas
Airport – Art Canvas’s and a Handmade Patchwork Superhero Cape
Villa Marina – Follow my Lead - Photography
Douglas Library – Re-writing History -
National Sports Centre – Short Film -Orignal Song written by Young People
Hospital – Weight of Words

All the installation will then come together to form one collect in the Manx Museum from Friday 28th February for one month.

All these installations are created by young people in care with support from various community artists, musicians and a grant funded by the Art Council allowed this project to happen.

The installations are designed to give an insight into what care is like for children and young people, looking at ideas around mental health, emotional wellbeing, labelling and perception, inspiration and aspirations, overcoming barriers as well as reminding the community that a child is a child no matter where they live.

Words by Amy Beggs-Cairney 
Participation Officer- Voices In Participation
Children and Families

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A sponsored body of
The Department of Education, Sport and Culture
Rheynn Ynsee, Spoyrt as Cultoor
Isle of Man Government
Reiltys Ellan Vannin
Isle of man Government